Centre Pompidou-Metz, the first major cultural decentralisation project.

Centre Pompidou-Metz is France’s first major cultural decentralisation project. Centre Pompidou in Paris  has brought its model to the region, and offered its know-how and collections in a unique partnership with local government bodies, which not only provide the necessary funding but also guarantee independence of scientific and cultural choices.

Respecting the values of Centre Pompidou in its generosity, open to all publics and to all forms of current-day creation, Centre Pompidou-Metz illustrates, through its relationship both to society and to culture, the renewal of Centre Pompidou’s strategy refocused on its prime vocation, namely to form a platform of exchanges between French society and creation.

Centre Pompidou-Metz is neither a branch nor an annex of Centre Pompidou Paris but a sister institution, independent in its scientific and cultural choices, able to develop its own programme in the spirit of Centre Pompidou, and relying on the latter’s know-how, network and notoriety. In conveying these values, it has an extraordinary advantage, that of being able to draw from the collections of Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, which, with more than 100,000 works, boasts one of the world’s two finest collections in the field of modern and contemporary art, and the largest collection in Europe.

Centre Pompidou-Metz has been devised as a unique experience, a space where you can discover artistic creation in all its shapes and sizes, a living place where events take place all year round. The architecture of Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines make it an exceptional place. It is also a generous place as its publics are at the heart of the project, and a place of excellence thanks to its multidisciplinary programme based on innovative temporary exhibitions of international level.

A unique architecture

“Walking up through the front square and the gardens that link the downtown area and the Metz train station to the Centre Pompidou-Metz, visitors will discover a building in light and luminous tones, both powerful and graceful, inviting them to take shelter under its protective roof.

We imagined an architecture that speaks of openness and well-being, a meeting of cultures, in an immediate sensory relationship with the environment.” .

Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines

The Centre Pompidou-Metz is a large hexagonal structure with three galleries running through the building. A central spire reaches up 77 metres, alluding to the 1977 opening date of the original Centre Pompidou.

Inside the building, the general atmosphere is light with a pale wood roof, white-painted walls and floors in pearl-grey polished concrete. The roof, the relation between the interrior and exterior and the four exhibition galleries make up highly innovative architectural choices.

Remarkable space

The architecture of the Centre Pompidou-Metz has unusual characteristics: the remarkable size of its main nave and the variety of its exhibition areas, with large open spaces and more intimate places that encourage inventiveness and continually surprise the visitor.
Never fixed permanently, the exhibition areas can be modulated to allow original interpretations of modern and contemporary art.
The Centre Pompidou-Metz is a large hexagonal structure covering a collection of interior spaces. It is structured round a central spire reaching a height of 77 metres. The building is a two-curve superstructure with an assembly of wooden beams forming hexagonal modules and supported by a central metal tower and four conical pillars.
With a surface area of 8,000 m2, constructed fully in wood, the roofing is made up of hexagonal units resembling the cane-work pattern of a Chinese hat. This structure is covered with a waterproof membrane made from fibre glass and teflon (PTFE or Poly-Tetra-Fluoro-Ethylene).

Three galleries in the shape of rectangular (parallelepipedic) tubes weave through the building at different levels, jutting out through the roof with huge picture windows angled towards landmarks such as the cathedral, the station and Seille Park, showing visitors genuine “postcard” images of the city of Metz.

Viewed as a whole, the Centre Pompidou-Metz evokes a huge marquee surrounded by a front square and two gardens. Total surface area is 10,700 m2. The exhibition areas take up 5,020 m2, plus other spaces where works can also be exhibited such as the gardens, forum and the gallery terraces. The building housing the Centre’s administration offices and technical spaces is located behind the Centre Pompidou-Metz.